The Two i

Shinogi, Sabaki

These three are Japense terms used in Go. I think they are used elsewhere as well but I know these words from playing Go.

Shinogi is the art of making life inside hostile territory.

Sabaki is a way whereby the player settles his stones in an unfavourable position, often playing lightly and involves the sacrificing of stones.

Cho Chikun is well known as a master of shinogi. He is a very territory oriented player and as such he normally cedes to his opponent a huge moyo which he will invade. Then he makes life for his stones inside his opponent’s moyo and thus destroying it. Shinogi requires deep reading and fighting skillsMoyo is a framework of stones that has potential to turn into a huge territory.

Yoda Norimoto wrote a whole book on Sabaki but sabaki techniques are really important to any Go player. It is like how you can escape from a difficult situation. Sabaki, to me, means not to be stubborn but flexible, finding the best way to get out of a tough situation.

How is it possible to apply shinogi and sabaki into our daily life and work?

Hmmm…. maybe shinogi is like when you go into a new market, say Vietnam or Russia where the environment can be hostile, it is the art of establishing a company deep into that country and fight out for market share. You invest a lot of resources into the market all in the view of getting a firm hold. How would shinogi techniques help? First prerequisite is extraordinary fighting power. You need to send in a tough team, a tough and loyal team. Send anything lesser, you are bound to fail and get eaten up.

In view of the very hostile territories, what about using some sabaki techniques? The first prerequisite to sabaki techniques is to know how to sacrifice and escape lightly but at the same time settle the situation and getting a foothold. While sabaki is not as severe as shinogi, it will successfully allow you to enter into that territory and get a share. Say you want to invest in Russia and knowing how the government there works (think the BP case), you will not want to invest heavily into the country at first but send in a testing force. If the test fail, it won’t cost you a fortune but you get the experience and from this experience, you may make some friends and understand the situation more. You plan to escape lightly.

Hahaha…. maybe I have indulged in too much Go. My head is swimming with Go. Not a very healthy sign…. and thus the gibberish above… :(


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2 responses to “The Two i

  1. Haha…the business world seems like a Go game to you now. If only real life was like a Go game. Though the permutations in Go seem endless, real life has permutations more infinite still…

    You sound a bit exhausted with the new job. Maybe you need to take a bit of a break from Go. The arrow flies true if the bow is neither too taut nor too loose.

    Relax…. :)

  2. fallingstones

    Hi Avatar, you truly read my mind. in fact the string is a little too tight now but go is one way for me to loosen up the string a bit. it relaxes me and gives me something else to think about. plus i need to train for the beijing games which i really look forward to. well, as one person told me before, take life head on, don’t hide and don’t avoid difficulties, and everything will be ok.

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